Lazurite glinting with pyrite and veins of calcite
'A fragment of the starry firmament’. Pliny the Elder
The Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, whose ceiling Giotto
starred with gold, a palace for his frescoes. His blue was
of ground lapis lazuli mixed with oil and resin
Reverie In Blue
Raw blue of the powder paint on my first day in class
reminiscent of matches and Union Jacks
raindrops, sunlit, clinging to transoms
Reckitt's Blue rocks south of Windermere
rush of babbling cobalt from the factory's sluice
rescued ditched linen every Monday
Sapphire blue of delphiniums in my mother's garden
sparkling blue of speedwell in country lanes
spectral blue of woods in April and May
Cloth-of-Gold blue of my grammar school blazer
crescent moons on the badge a bit like Byzantium
culled wisdom: Spes Mea Veritas
Accolade blue of door plaque for prize-winning gallery
azure organza of my bridesmaids' dresses
Alice blue of congratulations on the birth of a son
Voyaging blue of Quink in the bottle
vial of Bristol blue glass, perfumed with ages past
vault-of-heaven blue of Giotto in Padua
Mesmeric blue of the Mediterranean
misty blue of rosemary, forking terracotta shards
Madonna blue of the Renaissance, Infinity's embrace
Lapis lazuli of Rosary beads and deep Mysteries,
lagoon blue of C V Stanford's Bluebird, sleek sostenuto
limber blue of agapanthus dancing on Funchal airport
Blue of conjunction with emerald and purple
blue of peacock and kingfisher foreshadowing paradise
blue of deep reflection, tempering the heat of the day
Fra Lippo Lippi's Virgin
William Butler Yeats
I have heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow.
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or else should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out.
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.
All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.
Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,
And all the drop-scenes drop at once
Upon a hundred thousand stages,
It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.
On their own feet they came, or On shipboard,'
Camel-back; horse-back, ass-back, mule-back,
Old civilisations put to the sword.
Then they and their wisdom went to rack:
No handiwork of Callimachus,
Who handled marble as if it were bronze,
Made draperies that seemed to rise
When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;
His long lamp-chimney shaped like the stem
Of a slender palm, stood but a day;
All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay.
Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
Are carved in lapis lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird,
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instrument.
Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.
Melozzo da Forli Angel Music Maker